Minister must suspend co-living guidelines while review is taking place

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
14 July 2020

Labour Housing Spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has urged the Minster for Housing to suspend the co-living guidelines while his promised review of them is taking place.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It is disappointing that today Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien refused to commit to banning co-living units completely at the unveiling of a new Housing Development in Ballymun.

“This is another example of Minister O’Brien and Fianna Fáil saying one thing on the public record in opposition and as with reports last weekend about the Government looking to water down the rent freeze and eviction ban, seemingly seeking to do the exact opposite in Government.

“Less than 12 months ago, the current Minister said that his party would seek to amend the 2000 Planning Act to prevent any further co-living units from being built and also stated that he was opposed to the concept as co-living developments would have no effect on housing except to push up the price of ‘normal’ apartments.”

“The Ministers comments this morning indicate he knows that co-living is not an appropriate solution to the housing crisis, indeed, he has outlined the reasons very well in the past but he is willing to ‘let the market decide”. Relying on the private market to deliver our needed housing units hasn’t worked. Allowing co-living to stay in place and allowing the market to decide will lead to co-living replacing the much needed housing units in permissions as has been the case with purpose built student accommodation. 

“He needs to take action and suspend the co-living guidelines now and if he does not consider co-living as a solution to the housing crisis pending his review as a number of permissions are making their way though the planning process.

Moynihan continued: 

“My concern is that Minister O’Brien is using this review as a can kicking exercise to allow him to renegade on his previous public pronouncements on the issue. Co-living is not a solution to the housing crisis and the Minister needs to keep his word and suspend the co-living guidelines now.

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